Southern Oregon is home to the unique, awe-inspiring, and bedazzling Crater Lake National Park. The latter is considered one of America’s most enticing national parks. With varying depths of 592 meters or 1,943 feet, the lake is the deepest in the country and features some of the world’s clearest and cleanest waters. This is because the lake is not fed by rivers or springs, but the water inside of it is the pure result of rainfall and snowmelt. People visit this perfect destination in Southern Oregon to enjoy various unique activities, such as taking the Rim Drive, witnessing the Crater Lake Lodge, riding a boat to Wizard Island, hiking up Garfield Peak, seeing the Plaikni Falls, and watching the magical sunrise over the lake. However, many don’t know that they can enjoy a refreshing swim in Crater Lake, although this is only possible to achieve through one spot.Related: Yes, You Can Camp At The Edge Of The Deepest U.S. Lake... And It's Also A Volcano


Here’s Where To Enjoy The Best Swim In Crater Lake

At Crater Lake National Park, people have only the chance to get down the lakeshore and swim safely and legally only through one place, the steep Cleetwood Cove Trail. The latter opens from mid to late June and is just over one mile long. Moreover, the trail drops around 700 feet down the lakeshore. Because Crater Lake is so steep and deep, there is no other access than the Cleetwood Cove Trail.

  • Information: People who wish to take the Wizard Island boat tour will also hike the Cleetwood Cove Trail.

No matter the activity they take at the national park, people will not experience most of Crater Lake unless they take a plunge inside of it. The Cleetwood Cove Trail is 1.1 miles long per way, which means that the roundtrip is around 2.2 miles in total. Along the trail, people can use the available benches to take a break and witness the mesmerizing views of the blue waters from above. People will also notice that it doesn’t feel too hot even on a warm day since most of the trail is shaded by trees.

  • Note: People must know that pets are not allowed in the water at Crater Lake. The same applies to the Cleetwood Cove Trail.

After reaching the shoreline at Crater Lake, people will witness all the unique spots where they can get into the waters. They have the chance to climb over the rocks to wade in, or they can head down to the boat dock.

  • Recommended: People are advised to head to a great cliff jumping spot by hiking past the bathrooms along the shore to the unique overlook. The water is too deep, and people can jump safely. At this spot, the jump is about 30 feet.

Here’s What To Bring And What Not To Bring On The Cleetwood Cove Trail

There are many things that people should bring with them when hiking the Cleetwood Cove Trail to the shoreline of Crater Lake. One of the essential items to have is reusable water bottles, which people should make sure to refill before heading down the trail. A mini water filler would also be a good idea so that one will have the chance to try some of the world’s cleanest lake water. Even though it’s clean, people are advised to filter it still.

Comfortable and lightweight hiking shoes are a must when hiking the Cleetwood Cove Trail. People are advised to choose footwear that does not crowd the toes. Another essential item to bring on the trail is mineral sunscreen for skin protection. This product will also keep harmful chemicals out of Crater Lake.

People have the option to wear their swimsuits down, or they can change once they reach the bottom. However, they must know there are no areas to change. Thus, they can bring with them a towel in addition to their swimsuit. They should also get some warm, dry clothes so that they can change their wet swimsuit when taking the hike back up.

The National Park Service is serious about preserving the lake’s cleanliness and clarity. It also works on preventing the introduction of invasive species. This is why many items are not allowed into the water at Crater Lake. These include snorkels, life jackets, goggles, fins, and other flotation devices.

Related: This Is Why Crater Lake Lodge Is The Best Option To See Oregon's Bluest Lake

Here’s What To Know About The Weather And Water Temperature At Crater Lake

Crater Lake features an average of 43 feet of snow per year, making the region one of the snowiest places in America. Thus, there are only a few months when people can swim at Crater Lake, given the extreme winter season. Usually, visitors to the lake can swim from June through September. Although the lake is mainly fed from snowmelt, its surface water temperature reaches a mild 57 degrees Fahrenheit. However, as people go lower, the water gets colder. Below 300 feet, the water temperature drops to 38 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Recommended: People are advised to just jump into the water without testing it first.
  • Information: Crater Lake does not freeze despite the freezing weather and the ton of snow during winter. This is because of the lake’s size. Per the National Park Service, there was a complete surface freeze in 1949. In 1985, there was a 95% freeze.